Sunteți pe pagina 1din 420







Cornell University Library

B 3312.E52L66

3 1924 021 569 177


Cornell University Library

The original of tliis book is in

tine Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright restrictions in

the United States on the use of the text.




The First Complete and Authorised English Translation





Of the First Edition of

Thousand Five


Hundred Copies this is

No. 6Q6







author op " the quintessence of nietzsche "

"reugions and philosophies of the bast"

There are many dawns which have yet

to shed their light.





V. 7


^; %


Printed ly Morrison & Gibb Limited, Edinhirgk


When Nietzsche called his book The Dawn of Day,

he was far from giving it a merely fanciful title to

attract the attention of that large section of the public which judges books by their titles rather than

by their contents.

figuratively, the dawn of Nietzsche's own philo-

The Dawn of Day represents,


Hitherto he had been considerably influ-

enced in his outlook, if not in his actual thoughts,

by Schopenhauer, Wagner, and perhaps also Comte. Human,all-too-ffuman,helongs to a period of transi-


After his rupture with Bayreuth, Nietzsche

is, in both parts of that work, trying to stand on his

own legs, and to regain his spiritual freedom ; he is

feeling his way to his own philosophy.

The Dawn

of Day, written in 1 88 1 under the invigorating influ-

ence of a Genoese spring, is the dawn of this new

Nietzsche. " With this book I open my campaign

against morality," he himself said later in his auto-

biography, the Ecce Homo. Just as in the case of the books written in his prime The Joyful Wisdom, Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Genealogy of Moralswe


fail to be impressed in this work by

Nietzsche's deep psychological insight, the insight

that showed him to be a powerful judge of men and

things unequalled in the nineteenth or, perhaps, any



One example of this is seen in his

other century.

searching analysis of the Apostle Paul (Aphorism 68), in which the soul of the "First Christian"

is ruthlessly and

realistically laid bare to


Nietzsche's summing-up of the Founder of Christi-

anity for of course, as is now generally recognised,

it was Paul, and not Christ, who founded the Chris-

tian Churchhas not yet called forth those bitter

attacks from theologians that might have been ex- pected, though one reason for this apparent neglect is no doubt that the portrait is so true, and in these

circumstances silence is certainly golden on the part

of defenders of the faith, who are otherwise, as a

rule, loquacious enough.

Nor has the taunt in

Aphorism 84 elicited an answer from the quarter

whither it was directed ; and the " free " (not to say

dishonest) interpretation of the Bible by Christian scholars and theologians, which is still proceeding merrily, is now being turned to Nietzsche's own writings. For the philosopher's works are now being

" explained away " by German theologians in a

most naive and daring fashion, and with an ability

which has no doubt been acquired as the result of

centuries of skilful interpretation of the Holy Writ

Nor are professional theologians the only ones

who have failed to answer Nietzsche ; for in other

than religious matters the majority of savants have not succeeded in plumbing his depths. There

is, for example, the question of race. Ten yejirs ago, twenty years after the publication of The

Dawn of Day, Nietzsche's countrymen enthusiastic- ally hailed a book which has recently been trans-

lated into English, Chamberlain's Foundations of



the Nineteenth Century. In this book the Teutons

are said to be superior to all the other peoples in the

world, the reason given being that they have kept

their race pure. It is due to this purity of race that

they have produced so many great men ; for every

" good " man in history is a Teuton, and every bad man something else. Considerable skill is exhibited

by the author in filching from his opponents the

Latins their best trump cards, and likewise the

trump card, Jesus Christ, from the Jews ; for Jesus

Christ, according to Chamberlain's very plausible

argument, was not a Jew but an Aryan, i.e. a mem-

ber of that great family of which the Teutons are a branch. What would Nietzsche have said to this leger-

demain ? He has constantly pointed out that the

Teutons are so far from being a pure race that they

have, on the contrary, done everything in their power to ruin even the idea of a pure race for ever. For

the Teutons, through their Reformation and their

Puritan revolt in England, and the philosophies

developed by the democracies that necessarily fol-

lowed, were the spiritual forbears of the French

Revolution and of the Socialistic regime under

which we arc beginning to suffer nowadays. Thus

this noble race has left nothing undone to blot out the last remnant of race in Europe, and it even

stands in the way of the creation of a new race. And

with such a record in history the Germans write

books, eulogising themselves as the salt of the earth, the people of peoples, the race of races, while in truth

they are nothing else than nouveaux-nches en- deavouring to draw up a decent pedigree for them-




selves. We know that honesty is not a prerequisite

of such pedigrees, and that patriotism may be con-

sidered as a good excuse even for a wrong pedigree

but the race-pandemonium that followed the public-

ation of Mr. Chamberlain's book in Germany was really a very unwise proceeding in view of the false

and misleading document produced. What, it may

be asked again, would Nietzsche have said if he had

heard his countrymen screaming odes to their own

glory as the " flower of Europe " ? He would assur-

edly have dismissed their exalted pretensions with a

good-natured smile ; for his study of history had

shown him that even slaves must have their sat-

urnalia now and then. But as to his philosophical

answer there can be no doubt ; for in Aphorism 272

oiThe Dawn of Day there is a single sentence which

completely refutes the view of modern racemongers

like Chamberlain and his followers : " It is prob-

able," we read, " that there are no pure races, but

only races which have become purified, and even

these are extremely rare." There are even stronger

expressions to be met with in " Peoples and Coun- tries" (Aphorism 20; see the Genealogy of Morals,

p. 226): "What quagmires and mendacity must

there be about if it is

possible, in the modern

European hotch-potch, to raise the question of

' race ' ! " and again, in Aphorism 2 1 : "Maximto associate with rto man who takes any part in the

mendacious race-swindle."

A man like Nietzsche, who makes so little im-

pression upon mankind in general, is certainly not,

as some people have thought and openly said, a

public danger, so the guardians of the State need not




be uneasy. There is little danger of Nietzsche's re-

volutionising either the masses or the classes ; for,

as Goethe used to say, " Seulement celui qui res-

semble le peuple, I'^meut." Nietzsche's voice has as

yet hardly been lifted in this country; and, until it is

fully heard, both masses and classes will calmly pro-

ceed on their way to the extremes of democracy and

anarchy, as they now appear to be doing. Anarchy,

though, may be too strong a word ; for there is some

doubt whether, throughout Europe and America at

all events, the people are not now too weak even for

anarchy. A revolt is a sign of strength in a slave but our modern slaves have no strength left.

In the meantime, however, it will have become

clear that Nietzsche tried to stop this threatening

degradation of the human race, that he endeavoured

to supplant the morality of altruismthe cause of

this degradationby another, a super- Christian morality, and that he has succeeded in this aim, if

not where the masses and the classes are concerned,

at any rate in the case of that small minority of

thinkers to which he really wished to appeal. And

this minority is naturally grateful to the philosopher

for having supplied them with a morality which

enables them to be " good " without being fools

an unpleasant combination which, unfortunately, the

Nazarene morality is seldom able to avoid. This

Nazarene morality has doubtless its own merits, and

its " good " and " evil " in many cases coincide with

ours ; but common sense and certain intellectual

qualities are not too highly appreciated in the table

of Christian values (see, for instance, i Cor. iii. 1 9),

whence it will be observed that the enlightenment




of a Christian is not always quite equal to his otherwise excellent intentions. We Nietzschians,

however, must show that patience to them which

they always pretend to show to their opponents.

Nietzsche himself, indeed, recommends this in Aph-

orism 103 of this book, an aphorism which is almost

too well known to need repetition ; for it likewise

disproves the grotesque though widely circulated supposition that all kinds of immorality would be

indulged in under the sway of the " Immoralistic" philosopher

" I should not, of course, denyunless I were a

foolthat many actions which are called immoral

should be avoided and resisted; and in the same way

that many which are called moral should be per- formed and encouraged ; but I hold that in both

cases these actions should be performed from

motives other than those which have prevailed up

to the present time. We must learn anew in order

that at last, perhaps very late in the day, we may be

able to do something more : feel anew."

In regard to the translation itselfwhich owes

a good deal to many excellent suggestions made by Mr. Thomas Commonit adheres, as a rule,

closely to the German text ; and in only two or

three instances has a slightly freer rendering been adopted in order to make the sense quite clear.

There are one or two cases in which a punning or

double meaning could not be adequately rendered

in English: e.g. Aphorism 50, where the German

word" Rausch" means both " intoxication " and also

" elation " {i.e. the exalted feelings of the religious


Again, we have " Einleid," " Einleidig-




keit," in Aphorism 63words which do not quite

correspond to pity, compassion, or fellow-feeling, and which, indeed, are not yet known to German

lexicographers. A literal translation, " one-feeling,"

would be almost meaningless.

What is actually

signified is that both sufferer and sympathiser have

nerves and feelings in common : an experience which

Schopenhauer, as Nietzsche rightly points out, mis- took for compassion or pity (" Mitleid"), and which

lacked a word, even in

German, until the later

psychologist coined " Einleid." Again, in Aphorism

554 we have a play upon the words "Vorschritt"

(leading, guidance) and " Fortschritt " (progress).

All these, however, are trifling matters in compar-

ison with the substance of the book, and they are of

more interest to philologists than to psychologists.

It is for psychologists that this book was written

and such minds, somewhat rare in our time, may read in it with much profit.

London, September 191 1.



In this book we find a " subterrestrial " at work,

digging, mining, undermining.

always provided that you have eyes for such deep

work,how he makes his way slowly, cautiously,

gently but surely, without showing signs of the

weariness that usually accompanies a long privation

You can see him,

of light and air.

He might even be called happy,

despite his labours in the dark.

Does it not seem

as if some faith were leading him on, some solace

recompensing him for his toil ? Or that he himself

desires a long period of darkness, an unintelligible, hidden, enigmatic something, knowing as he does

that he will in time have his own morning, his own redemption, his own rosy dawn ? Yea, verily he will return : ask him not what he seeketh in the

depths ; for he himself will tell you, this apparent

Trophonius and subterrestrial, whensoever he once

One easily unlearns how to

again becomes man.

hold one's tongue when one has for so long been a

mole, and all alone, like him.


Indeed, my indulgent friends, I will tell you

here, in this late preface,* which might easily have

* The book was first published in 1881, the preface being

added to the second edition, 1886.






become an obituary or a funeral orationwhat

I sought in the depths below : for I have come

back, and I have escaped. Think not that I will

urge you to run the same perilous risk ! or that I

will urge you on even to the same solitude !


whoever proceeds on his own path meets nobody

this is the feature of one's " own path."

No one

comes to help him in his task : he must face every-

thing quite alonedanger, bad luck, wickedness,

foul weather.

He goes his own way ; and, as is

only right, meets with bitterness and occasional

irritation because he pursues this " own way " of

his : for instance, the knowledge that not even his

friends can guess who he is and whither he is going,

and that they ask themselves now and then : " Well ?

Is he really moving at all ?

Has he still


path before him ? " At that time I had undertaken

something which could not have been done by

everybody : I went down into the deepest depths I tunnelled to the very bottom ; I started to investi- gate and unearth an old faith which for thousands

of years we philosophers used to build on as the

safest of all foundationswhich we built on again and again although every previous structure fell

in : I began to undermine our faith in morals.

But ye do not understand me?


So far it is on Good and Evil that we have

meditated least profoundly : this was always too

dangerous a subject.

Conscience, a good reputa-

tion, hell, and at times even the police, have not



allowed and do not allow of impartiality; in the presence of morality, as before all authority, we

must not even think, much less speak : here we

must obey ! Ever since the beginning of the world,

no authority has permitted itself to be made the

subject of criticism ; and to criticise moralsto

look upon morality as a problem, as problematic

what ! was that not is that notimmoral ? But

morality has at its disposal not only every means

of intimidation wherewith to keep itself free from

critical hands and instruments of torture :


security lies rather in a certain art of enchantment,

in which it is a past masterit knows how to

" enrapture."


can often paralyse the critical

will with a single look, or even seduce it to itself:

yea, there are even cases where morality can turn

the critical will against itself ; so that then, like the

scorpion, it thrusts the sting into its own body.

Morality has for ages been an expert in all kinds of devilry in the art of convincing : even at the

present day there is no orator who would not turn

to it for assistance (only hearken to our anarchists,

for instance : how morally they speak when they

convince ! In the end they even call

themselves " the good and the just "). Morality

has shown herself to be the greatest mistress of seduction ever since men began to discourse and

would fain

persuade on earthand, what concerns us philo-

sophers even more, she is the veritable Circe of


For, to what is it due that, from

Plato onwards, all the philosophic architects in

Europe have built in vain ? that everything which

they themselves honestly believed to be aere per-


ennius threatens to subside or is already laid in ruins?

Oh, how wrong is the answer which, even in our own

day, rolls glibly off the tongue when this question is

asked : " Because they have all neglected the pre-

requisite, the examination of the foundation, a

critique of all reason " that fatal answer made by

Kant, who has certainly not thereby attracted us

modern philosophers to firmer and less treacherous

ground ! (and, one may ask apropos of this, was it

not rather strange to demand that an instrument

should criticise its own value and effectiveness?

that the intellect itself should " recognise " its own

worth, power, and limits? was it not even just a

little ridiculous ?)

The right answer would rather

have been, that all philosophers, including Kant himself, were building under the seductive influence

of moralitythat they aimed at certainty and

"truth" only in appearance; but that in reality

their attention was directed towards " majestic moral

edifices" to use once more Kant's innocent mode of

expression, who deems it his " less brilliant, but

not undeserving" task and work " to level the

ground and prepare a solid foundation for the

erection of those majestic moral edifices " {Critique

of Pure Reason, ii. 2 S 7).

succeed in his aim, quite the contraryas we must

acknowledge to-day. With this exalted aim, Kant

was merely a true son of his century, which more

than any other may justly be called the century of exaltation: and this he fortunately continued

to be in respect to the more valuable side of this

century (with that solid piece of sensuality, for

example, which he introduced into his theory of

Alas !







knowledge). He, too, had been bitten by the moral

tarantula, Rousseau ; he, too, felt weighing on his

soul that moral fanaticism of which another disciple

of Rousseau's, Robespierre, felt and proclaimed himself to be the executor : de fonder sur la terre

I'empire de la sagesse, de la justice, et de la vertu.

(Speech of June 4th, 1794.)

On the other hand,

with such a French fanaticism in his heart, no one

could have

cultivated it in a less

French,, more

deep, more thorough and more German manner

if the word German is still permissible in this sensethan Kant did : in order to make room for

his " moral kingdom," he found himself compelled to add to it an indemonstrable world, a logical

" beyond " that was why he required his critique

of pure reason !

wanted it, if he

In other words, he would not have had not deemed one thing to be

more important than all the others : to render his

moral kingdom unassailable by or, better still,

invisible to, reason,for he felt too strongly the

vulnerability of a moral order of things in the face of reason. For, when confronted with nature and history, when confronted with the ingrained im-

morality of nature and history, Kant was, like all good Germans from the earliest times, a pessimist he believed in morality, not because it is demon-

strated through nature and history, but despite its

To under-

stand this " despite," we should perhaps recall a somewhat similar trait in Luther, that other great

being steadily contradicted by them.

pessimist, who once urged it upon his friends with

true Lutheran audacity : " If we could conceive by

reason alone ' how that God who shows so much



wrath and malignity could be merciful and just,

For, from

the earliest times, nothing has ever made a deeper

impression upon the German soul, nothing has

ever " tempted " it more, than that deduction, the

most dangerous of all, which for every true Latin

is a sin against the intellect : credo quia absurdum

est.With it German logic enters for the first time

into the history of Christian dogma ; but even to-day, a thousand years later, we Germans of the present, late Germans in every way, catch the scent of truth,

a possibility of truth, at the back of the famous

fundamental principle of dialectics with which

Hegel secured the victory of the German spirit

what use should we have for faith ? "

over Europe " contradiction moves the world ; all things contradict themselves." We are pessimists

even in logic.

But logical judgments are not the deepest and

most fundamental

to which the daring of our

suspicion descends : the confidence in reason which

is inseparable from the validity of these judgments,


is, as confidence, a wcra/ phenomenon

German pessimism has yet to take its last step? Perhaps it has once more to draw up its " credo


opposite its " absurdum " in a terrible manner ?

And if this book is pessimistic even in regard to

morals, even above the confidence in morals

should it not be a German book for that veryreason ?

For, in fact, it represents a contradiction, and one

which it does not fear : in it confidence in morals is retracted but why ? Out of morality ! Or how




shall we call that which takes place in itin us ?

for our taste inclines to ' the employment of more

modest phrases. But there is no doubt that to us likewise there speaketh a " thou shalt " ; we likewise

obey a strict law which is set above usand this

is the last cry of morals which is still audible to us,

which we too must live : here, if anywhere, are we

still men of conscience, because, to put the matter in

plain words, we will not return to that which we look upon as decayed, outlived, and superseded, we v/ill

not return to something " unworthy of belief,"

whether it be called God, virtue, truth, justice, love

of one's neighbour, or what not ; we will not permit

ourselves to open up a lying path to old ideals we are thoroughly and unalterably opposed to

anything that would intercede- and mingle with us ;

opposed to all forms of present-day faith and

Christianity ; opposed to the lukewarmness of all

romanticism and fatherlandism ; opposed also to the

artistic sense of enjoyment and lack of principle which would fain make us worship where we no

longer believefor we are artistsopposed, in

short, to all this European feminism (or idealism,

if this term be thought preferable) which everlast- ingly " draws upward," and which in consequence

everlastingly " lowers" and " degrades." Yet, being men of this conscience, we feel that we are related

to that German uprightness and piety which dates

back thousands of years, although we immoralists

and atheists may be the late and uncertain offspring

of these virtues yea, we even consider ourselves,

in a certain respect, as their heirs, the executors of

their inmost will: a pessimistic will,as I have already





pointed out, which is not afraid to deny itself,

because it denies itself with joy ! In us is consum-

mated, if you desire a formula

of morals.


the autosuppression

But, after all, why must we proclaim so loudly

and with such intensity what we are, what we want, and what we do not want ? Let us look at this more calmly and wisely ; from a higher and more distant

point of view. Let us proclaim it, as if among our-

selves, in so low a tone that all the world fails to

hear it and us !

Above all, however, let us say it